The 1977 tourbook was put out during the time that the America Live album was released. Included in the tourbook was a brief history of America.
THE HISTORY OF AMERICA
Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley met Dan Peek at London Central High School in the mid- Sixties. Sons of American military personnel stationed in England, all three played in various dance bands before forming AMERICA in 1969. This is when the serious writing began.
"A Horse With No Name" skyrocketed to the top of the charts in England upon the release of their debut album, AMERICA. Soon afterwards (1972) AMERICA was unleashed in the United States and the result was even more impressive -- a platinum disc.
The self-produced HOMECOMING ('72) and HAT TRICK ('73) followed quickly, and AMERICA was launched on a career destined to catapult them to the top of the music industry. Their ascent was rapid and spectacular. Within a few years AMERICA was one of the most successful rock acts on the circuit -- both artistically and fiscally. Their concerts sold out instantly and their albums went gold and platinum as single after single raced up the charts.
"For our fourth album," explained Dewey Bunnell, "we wanted to try something different -- be produced. Gerry, being ambitious, said 'let's go for the best,' and we called George Martin up." HOLIDAY ('74) and the monstrous hit "Tin Man" were the outcome.
Working together, AMERICA and George found they had a lot in common. George evolved into a fourth member in the studio, and HEARTS ('75) was a testimony to their close rapport.
In October of the same year AMERICA released HISTORY, which capsulized the first five years with a dozen of the group's greatest hits. The album was soon platinum and AMERICA was ready for the next step.
Again with George Martin twisting the production knobs, AMERICA kicked off the Bicentennial year with HIDEAWAY. It was their boldest undertaking to date and successfully broadened their musical scope to include a reggae extrapolation, some solid rockers and a two-part instrumental suite along with their usual ballads. Their next album, HARBOR ('77) was remote- recorded on the Garden Isle of Kauai. The relaxing atmosphere of the recording sessions gave Gerry, Dewey and Dan time to assess their progress and their future directions.
AMERICA LIVE, released in the Fall of '77, represents AMERICA's first LP outing as a duo. Recorded live at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre, the program covers such audience pleasers as "Ventura Highway," "Daisy Jane," "Hollywood" and "Muskrat Love." With George Martin at the production helm, this latest album captures that special magic that only a live AMERICA concert holds.
Talking about the departure of Dan Peek and the group's future Dewey commented, "We're sorry to see him go; it's like the end of a musical era for us." "But it's a new challenge for each of us," adds Gerry. "We all hope to grow from this new experience."
Note: Thanks to Terry Trost for making the tourbook available.
Last Revised: 9 June 1999